2018 Tales of the Week – Week 1 Edition

By:Tyrone Montgomery Jr.

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Atlanta’s Unbalanced Attack

The Falcons took on the defending world champion Philadelphia Eagles Thursday night to kick off the season at Lincoln Financial Stadium. The Falcons were expected to ruin the ring ceremony night for The Eagles. However, things didn’t quite go to plan for Atlanta. The weather was not in favor for The Falcons. In fact, the game was set to start at 8:20PM. Rather, due to a rain delay along with plenty of lightning and thunder, they didn’t get started until about 9PM. This team is used to playing in a dome. Still, this isn’t an excuse or even the reason they loss to The Eagles 18-12. This team is stacked across the board offensively. Matt Ryan is a former league MVP, Julio Jones is the best Wide Receiver in the National Football League, and Devonte Freeman is a top 10 Running Back. The Falcons also have another great complimentary RB, Tevin Coleman. I mentioned lightning and thunder earlier in reference to the weather, but thunder & lightning can be compared to these two RB’s as well. These guys were 3rd and 4th round picks, but they play like 1st and 2nd rounders. The question that was on everyone’s mind was… “Why don’t The Falcons run the ball more?” Freeman was a bit banged up in the game, so Coleman had to step up a bit which he did by scoring the only TD for the Falcons. You have to keep the defense honest. The rush with Coleman was the right move, but the Falcons wanted to put the game in Matt Ryan’s hands. And that’s another thing. I like Matt Ryan, I really do. In fact, I think he’s one of the better QB’s in the league. A lot of people like Matt Ryan and rightfully so. He’s a former league MVP, he has a good IQ, and he loves the game. He’s dedicated, he works hard every day, and he’s always looking to improve. He wants to win! But you’re setting yourself up for failure when you expecting him to throw 40 times against one of the best defenses in the league. The Eagles didn’t give up a single point in the final 2 minutes of a single game last season. The scary thing is the defense is even better this season, and you’re still throwing the ball the majority of the game? The pressure was on as Matt Ryan was sacked 4 times and even had a fumble late in the game. His favorite target is Julio Jones. The 7-Year Pro received 19 targets last night.

The second amount of targets was 6. If you may recall, the Eagles stopped the Falcons in a red zone play similar to the one we saw Thursday night in the playoffs last season which happened to be against Julio Jones as well. Is it safe to say that the Falcons are a mess in the red zone? The Falcons have added some really talented weapons over the season including rookie WR Calvin Ridley from Alabama. You have to spread the ball around. This team is too talented to be one dimensional. Run the ball! Falcons Offensive Coordinator Steve Sarkisian should not be calling plays anymore. Let Matt Ryan take control of this offense and incorporate the run a bit more. Until that happens, the Atlanta Falcons are good for nothing, and they’re pretenders rather contenders.

At Least They Didn’t Lose!

All summer long, the world has been raving The Cleveland Browns. Failing to win a single game last season, we all knew for sure that they would be a lot better this season. Drama has always swarmed around this team. The Bad thing is the drama hasn’t just been with the players, but rather, the entire organization. From Head Coach Hue Jackson all the way to WR Josh Gordon, this team has been through the emotions, but this week marks a new season. The summer of 2018 has been a rather busy, yet promising and productive season for The Cleveland Browns. This team has had issues at Quarterback for about as long as I can remember. Let’s review: Brandon Weeden, Jason Campbell, Brady Quinn, Austin Davis, Luke McCown, Josh McCown, and even Terrelle Pryor. Pryor, who they even had to move to WR, barely made New York Jets Team this offseason. The Browns have had their fair share of QB’s, NONE of who you would want to play with on Madden. But now, they have not one, but 2 serviceable QB’s in Tyrod Taylor and Number 1 Overall Pick Baker Mayfield. They added good RB’s in Carlos Hyde and Nick Chubb. They also have added quality weapons at the WR position, from a returning and healthy Josh Gordon to an elite Jarvis Landry. Sunday afternoon’s game against The Pittsburgh Steelers offered Cleveland fans a bit of hope. Kicking off the season at home in Cleveland, they managed to make it a long day for Steelers QB “Big Ben” Roethlisberger as he threw 3 Picks and even had a fumble loss as well. The Browns were trailing heading into the 4th Quarter. However, they made it interesting as Josh Gordon caught a TD midway into the 4th. Cleveland fans were ecstatic as The Browns were marching down the field. They had so many opportunities to win this game, but came up short in such a Cleveland way. The rain was coming down hard, so that definitely played a big factor in the outcome of this game. The good thing is The Cleveland Browns ended their season long losing streak for now. The only thing is, they didn’t actually win, but only managed not to lose. This is the best start for the franchise since 2004 (0-0-1). Some progress is better than no progress.

Pump The Brakes on Pat

The Kansas City Chiefs are the latest team to underappreciate what they have been blessed with. You remember how The San Francisco 49ers mishandled Alex Smith? Deciding to go with Colin Kaepernick over Smith, leading to Smith getting traded to the Chiefs. This trade did work out for the Chiefs, Smith  along with Andy Reid help changed that team around. The culture has changed, the offense is much improved, there’s structure around the team, and they compete and fight hard every Sunday. In last year’s draft, The Chiefs decided to draft a QB, Pat Mahomes. This was head scratching because Alex Smith just got there and he had been playing extremely well for the team. This past summer, Alex Smith was dealt to The Redskins. Pat Mahomes now has the keys to the car.

In his first career NFL Start, Mahomes had the game of his life. He went 15/27, passing for 256 Yards, and tossed 4 TD’s in a 38-28 win over the LA Chargers. He also is a dual threat QB, as he ran for 21 Yards off 5 carries. As of yesterday, the Alex Smith trade looks like a win. Mahomes played well and they saved a ton of money as well. This isn’t anything new to future Hall of Fame Coach Andy Reid. Remember, while in Philadelphia, he traded away an aging QB who won a great deal of games too, Donavan McNabb. Ironically, McNabb too was traded to the Redskins. I’m not saying The Chiefs are making a mistake here. I think the kid is going to be good. But it’s going to take some time here against the Chargers at that! The Chargers are known to blowing games, and quite frankly, they blew this one too.

Let’s take a look at the numbers here. The Chargers were at home. Everyone’s talking Super Bowl for this team. Rivers passed for over 400 Yards. Melvin Gordon and Kenan Allen had over 100 receiving yards. And we got to see the NFL future Hall of Famer, Antonio Gates catch a couple of passes on crucial plays as well. So The Chargers blew this game. As mentioned before, they’re the Big Mac at McDonalds. Looks good early on, but lets us down in the end. They blew this game. So, I’m not going to say Mahomes is an MVP Candidate. He did play well. He was poised, he looked comfortable, and he led his team to victory. Despite his 4 TD’s, he only completed 15 passes. Two of which went to Tyreke Hill, who received 169 of Mahomes 256 Passing Yards (66%). Kansas City’s best receiver Tight End Travis Kelce only had 1 catch for just 6 yards yesterday. So again, I’m not saying Mahomes isn’t going to be good. All I’m saying is pump the brakes on him and give him more time. First impressions are important, but lasting impressions are even more important.